Tag Archives: gluten-free

Recipe: Salted Chocolate Coconut Ganache Torte with Chocolate Cashew Crust

Chocolate Cashew Crust Ingredients:

  • 2 c. unsalted cashews
  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut butter (or coconut oil; if not worried about dairy, butter might be a good substitute)
  • 1/4 c. maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. fine Himalayan sea salt

Crust Instructions: Add cashews to food processor and pulse till coarsely chopped. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until thoroughly combined. Press into greased 8″ round (or square) pan (I use Trader Joe’s coconut oil spray and wet my hands slightly to press the crust on the bottom and sides of the pan; you could use a spring-form pan, if desired). Chill in freezer until ready to fill.

Chocolate Coconut Ganache Filling Ingredients:

Filling Instructions: Bring coconut cream to low boil over medium-low heat. Empty chocolate chips into a large glass bowl. Pour boiling coconut cream over chips, let sit for 2-5 minutes, then whisk gently till smooth. Add vanilla and whisk gently until combined. Pour into chilled crust. Return to refrigerator to set and chill for at least 2 hours.

Top with any or all of the following: 

  • 1/4 – 1/2 c. coconut flakes
  • 1/4 c. roughly chopped, unsalted cashews
  • 1/2 – 1 c. whipped coconut cream (or whipped cream, if not concerned about being dairy-free)
  • 1/2 – 1 c. fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or a combination would be nice; or you could serve this on the side)

Serving Instructions: Serve chilled in small slices or petit-four sized squares. Just before serving, sprinkle with 1-2 tsp. coarse, pink, Himalayan sea salt (if you do this earlier, the salt may dissolve into the dessert). It looks especially nice on top of whipped cream or whipped coconut cream, since it’s a beautiful pink! Serves 12-24 (depending on how large you cut). Bonus: This recipe is gluten free and dairy free! Bon appetit!

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Journey Journal: Days 154-158

This week, breakfast mostly consisted of either kiwi or mango, almonds, and coffee with coconut milk. Occasionally I’d have a bowl of GF Chex Cereal with coconut milk too. For the first week of GF-DF June, we did pretty well! And I didn’t really miss bread or flour that much at all.

Day 154: Monday, June 3, 2013

  • Lunch: Leftover Stirfry (teriyaki chicken with jasmine rice, carrots, mushrooms, daikon, and broccoli)
  • Dinner: Curried Beef + Rice + Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower
  • Dessert: Coconut Milk “Ice Cream” with Banana, Peanut Butter, Cocoa Powder and Vanilla – so yummy!

Day 155: Tuesday, June 4, 2013

  • Lunch: Leftover Curry, Broccoli, and Cauliflower
  • Dinner:  Spinach Omelets
  • Dessert: Leftover Coconut Milk “Ice Cream”

Day 156: Wednesday, June 5, 2013

  • Breakfast: after last night’s dessert, I put the “ice cream” in the fridge instead of the freezer and ate it for breakfast–it was thick and creamy like chocolate pudding but healthy like a smoothie!
  • Lunch: Salad with Dried Dates, Slivered Almonds, Grape Tomatoes, and Celery Seed dressing
  • Dinner: Made Homemade Hummus with Spinach wrapped in corn tortillas

Day 157: Thursday, June 6, 2013

  • Lunch: Layered Corn Tortillas with Leftover Hummus, halved grape tomatoes, and sliced bell peppers
  • Dinner: Grilled Lemon Pepper Salmon + Coconut Lime Rice + Mango and Red Onion Salsa

Day 158: Friday, June 7, 2013

  • Lunch: Leftover Salmon + Coconut Lime Rice + Mango Avocado Salad
  • Dinner: Picked up a Rotisserie Chicken and made a quick batch of Warm Red Potato Salad (sometimes you just have to cheat)

Journey Journal: Days 152-153

Day 152: Saturday, June 1, 2013

Day One of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free June! So far so good. Started with breakfast of a two-egg omelet with roasted tomatoes and garlic and caramelized onions, a glass of orange juice, and a press of coffee with coconut milk. During the morning, Bryan and some of our guy friends helped out on a yard work project at Frontline Missions. So to thank them for their hard work, we grilled them a lunch of teriyaki chicken thighs and shrimp, and grilled pineapple. I tossed together a spinach salad, and they shared a loaf of sourdough bread from Simple Gifts–Old World Artisan Breads (made by our friends Dave & Cathy Miller–I did not have a piece because I knew if I said “I’ll start gluten-free tomorrow” that tomorrow would never come). After lunch, the guys played a game and I took a nap. After my nap, I went on a 5 mile walk/run. It was just what I needed to get my mind ready for worship on Sunday. Then for dinner I heated up some leftover steak, caramelized a red onion, and threw it into some corn tortillas with some spinach. Then I cooked up a sweet potato with some garlic, thyme and tarragon.

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Day 153: Sunday, June 2, 2013

Grabbed a banana and some orange juice on our way out the door for church. For lunch, Bryan made us “breakfast tortillas” with scrambled eggs, sautéed spinach and mushrooms, salsa, and bacon in corn tortillas. Delicious! Did a workout video for about an hour. Then for dinner, we made a chicken teriyaki stir-fry with jasmine rice, carrots, mushrooms, daikon, and broccoli (I topped mine with a little bit of chopped cashews). We steeped a pot of Oolong tea and turned on some classical music as we listened to the raindrops and rumbles of thunder outside. A good ending to a good weekend.

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Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Month of June!

For the last several months, I’ve been weaning myself off of dairy products–milk, cheese, ice cream, butter–all of it! And I’ve felt tons better! (And I mean TONS!) For instance, normally, I have horrible seasonal allergies, and this year was supposed to the worst in three years for our region–but being off dairy, my body was able to fight the allergens and I only had to take an allergy pill about three times all season! On top of that, my stomach has felt better. I didn’t even realize I felt bad, but those couple of days that I would add it back in as a “test,” I definitely felt it. So, I have noticed a beneficial difference, and–as much as I can–I’m going to try to stay off of dairy for good.

I thought I would miss cooking with butter, but between olive oil and coconut oil, I really don’t miss that too much. I thought I would miss cheese, but I’ve noticed that I am enjoying the flavors of different fruits and vegetables and grains on their own without it. Having said that, the one thing I’ve missed the most is probably mac-n-cheese…but I only miss it when I see someone else eating it. So, I found this recipe that is pretty much like it but uses cauliflower, dijon, nutritional yeast and garlic for the flavor instead, and I used soy milk instead of milk. It’s not quite the same, but it’s enough the same that I don’t feel like I’m missing out…and it’s has quite a bit fewer calories than its original counterpart!

In the meantime, I’ve also had quite a few friends find out they are not only allergic to dairy but also allergic to gluten. So, rather than go to an allergist, I thought I’d run my own experiment. This month, I’m going to try to be dairy-free AND gluten-free, and see how it goes. Now, for the record, I have nothing against dairy or gluten or wheat, and I believe God gave us all things richly to enjoy! But, we also live in a fallen world–and that means our bodies have weaknesses, including allergies for some. Plus there is research that suggests the nutritional content of our food is significantly different from that of our Old Testament ancestors. Needless to say, I am one of those flawed, fallen creatures with a weakened body. No, I’m not sickly or anything. In fact, I’m pretty healthy, but I want to be as healthy as I can be and be a good steward with the body God’s given me–flawed as it may be. So, I’m trying to fuel it with the type of fuel it needs and runs best on (kind of like not putting gasoline in a Mercedes Benz when it needs diesel to run best).

One thing I’m learning is that having allergies doesn’t have to be a death sentence…or a death sentence to enjoying good food! I love pure, raw, unadulterated produce! As close to the earth as it can come! And I’m not sure I would have figured that out without experimenting with these foods apart from the common allergens. I’ve also learned that cooking for those with food allergies can be a means of hospitality and care for my brothers and sisters in Christ or as a means of showing love and grace to unbelievers I come in contact with.

So, I’m starting by compiling recipes! One list I came across that seems to have a good smattering of recipes in different categories like breakfast, breads, side dishes, desserts, etc., is from Gluten Free Goddess’s blog. It has quite an extensive assortment. Another thing I did was create a board on Pinterest for GF-DF (gluten-free, dairy-free). Feel free to follow it, as I’ll keep adding new recipes as I come across them.

Screen Shot 2013-06-02 at 10.22.48 PMJust look how colorful some of these recipes are!! Yum! I can’t wait to try them!

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And I found these helpful, snapshot, meal-planning ideas on Pinterest too:

Do you have a favorite gluten-free, dairy-free recipe? Share in the comments, please! And enjoy the journey!

What to Do When Your Friends Go “Gluten Free”

I’ve had several friends recently find out they are either sensitive or allergic to glutens. Some just get worse headaches when they eat glutens and others found out they have a severe case of Celiac’s disease. There’s Gluten in SO many things now! But it can be done! It helps to remember that potatoes and rice are still okay. Most all-natural meats are GF (beware processed meats in general anyway, but especially when your Dairy Free or Gluten Free – they can be filled with additives). And, of course, fruits and veggies are always a win! Below are some resources I’ve gathered to use when I take treats to their house or have them over for dinner.

Some GF-Friendly Sites I Like:

 Most grocery stores have their own Gluten Free section now. If you haven’t tried Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah), it’s great! It’s a whole grain that’s gluten free and contains protein as well as Omega 3’s. And it can be served savory or sweet, hot or cold. It cooks kind of like rice, in about 15 minutes. Here’s my favorite recipe for breakfast: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/warm-and-nutty-cinnamon-quinoa-recipe.html.

You might also look into “Paleo Diet” or “Primal Blueprint” (aka Cave Man Diet) – they are heavy on meat and veggies and almost eliminate grains, so you could find some options using those too. I have a couple friends on Primal, and they have a really good grain free pizza crust that uses almond meal, egg, and parmesan cheese.

And, yes, they can still eat dessert! A couple of my favorite GF-Friendly desserts are the Flourless Brownies from Whole Foods Recipes and a No Bake Chilled Double Chocolate Torte recipe from Oh She Glows.

One thing I try to remind my newly-“GF” friends is to look at all the rich things God has given them to enjoy instead of focusing on what they can’t have. After all, they’re not the first people to have been given a food restriction (remember  Adam and Eve in the Garden – they were given a whole garden and told to avoid ONE tree). So, enjoy the “garden” and praise God for all His rich blessings!

What GF-Friendly sites or recipes are your favorites?

Recipe: Raw Pumpkin Pie

Raw Pumpkin Pie: all photography in this post courtesy of Bryan McKinnon, http://www.shadowlight.smugmug.com.

My friend Catherine and her husband Greg were coming over for dinner Saturday night. She eats a mainly raw vegan diet, so I wanted to make a special treat that neither of us had tried before: Raw Pumpkin Pie. We followed the recipe by Veronica Bosgraaf in the Gluten-Free e-Cookbook I posted a link to a while back, and it turned out surprisingly well! I couldn’t believe how much the filling looked like a traditional pumpkin pie. I brought an extra slice to my friend Lonnette at work, and she raved about it on Facebook, asking for the recipe. So, here you go…

Ingredients for Crust: 2 c. almonds, 1 c. dates, 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon.

Pulse crust ingredients in food processor, then press into glass pie plate.

Next, take half of a small pie pumpkin (about 6" diameter), peel, pit, and cube. That's right folks, no cooking involved. Make sure you have a sturdy peeler or use a sharp knife.

Filling Ingredients: 2 c. pumpkin puree (this means you will need to pulse the pumpkin cubes before measuring this ingredient), 1 to 1 1/2 c. dates, 1/4 c. raisins, 1/2 c. cashews, 2 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. each nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom, and a dash (1/8 tsp.) salt. We also added about 1/3 c. water to get the right consistency (add this slowly, 1 Tbsp. at a time, as each pumpkin may have a varying amount of moisture).

Pulse on low in food processor for several minutes. Ours took about 10-12 minutes and about 1/3 c. water to look right. Scrape into pie crust.

Spread evenly into crust and refrigerate for 2 hours, or till set.

The Finished Product: Raw Pumpkin Pie

I served mine with a dollop of whipped cream; Catherine had hers all natural.

Mel & Catherine (no, we did not plan to match)

Free Gluten-Free eCookbook!

Whether you have allergies or not, you will want to check out the 42 healthful recipes found in this resource! Thanks to my cousin Liz for letting me know about it! Contains Vegetarian Gluten-Free Meals, Gluten-Free Desserts, Gluten-Free Meals with Meat and Fish, and several that are Dairy-Free as well as Gluten-Free. Recipes for Gluten-Free Snacks, Salads and Breakfasts also included. Download a free copy of this 59 page Gluten-Free eCookbook today by clicking the link below!

http://www.favediets.com/master_images/FaveDiets/42-Easy-Gluten-Free-Recipes-Free-eCookbook.pdf

The recipe on page 21 has me dreaming of cooler weather: Raw Pumpkin Pie. There’s a recipe for Healthy Chicken Nuggets on page 30. And, personally, I can’t wait to try the Savory Quinoa Hash on page 50. Download and enjoy!

(Compliments of www.favediets.com. If a pop-up comes up asking you to enter your email address, you can just click “close” and continue to download. Only enter your email address if you want regular updates on FaveDiets’ site.)

Blueberry Oat Scones and Gluten-Free Soups (Feb. 10, 2010)

A friend gave me this mix package a while back and I just got around to baking them last night. It’s one of those simple, just-add-water mixes, but I have to say, Delicious! I sprinkled a little raw sugar over the scones before baking. Serve with hot tea or coffee.

I checked out the website on the package (cookinthekitchen.com), and they have a good variety of products. They also carry organic coffee, Vermont Maple Syrup, and gluten-free soup mixes, so some of you that have gluten-free friends may want to check this site out for gift basket ideas.